The Art of Altruism: 3

If altruism is all about thinking of others more and thinking of ourselves less, we need to clarify its definition. Because sometimes I think of others more than myself, but in a negative way. I look at other people’s failures and wish they could change. I focus so much on how they could be better, but then I’m left frustrated and upset because I can’t change them.

I never have and I never will.

But there is one thing I can change:

Myself.

Now obviously, I know I can only be perfect through Christ, but he does call us to have self-control. And therefore, I can make every effort to conform to his ways and his character. I think there’s a common misconception that we just have to love others selflessly without thinking of ourselves. That lie couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, Jesus says “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). You can’t love your neighbor (anyone, basically) if you don’t love yourself first. And how can you love yourself if you can’t control yourself and change your behaviors?

So there you have it: to be selfless is to love yourself in order to love others.

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